NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Ashley Bryant says he resorted to his pocket knife to protect himself on Saturday afternoon after a dog came onto his property and attacked his two small dogs before turning on him.
Bryant, 82, says he was sitting on his porch when the dog pounced on his 13-year-old Yorkie, Patches, and then bit his eight-year-old Maltese, Sparky, on the head and neck.
The attacked happened Sept. 1 around 1:30 p.m. at Bryant’s home on Marshall Avenue, near 17th Street.
“He had clamped his mouth on him and there was blood everywhere,” said Bryant, who never saw the dog before the attack.
After freeing both Patches and Sparky, he says he picked up a rock and started hitting the dog. When the dog didn’t leave, Bryant says he pulled out his pocket knife. The dog died on his driveway.
“That’s invading my privacy,” he said. “[My] dogs were up here getting a nap and for someone to come up and do something like that, and I’m sitting here and don’t do nothing, that’s not me. I’m retired military.”
After taking both of his dogs to the vet, he learned that both needed to be put down due to the severity of their injuries.
Bryant says he spent 20 years in the Air Force. He says the two dogs were his only companions. His wife of 42 years, Luvella Bryant, died in July.
His son, Kenneth Bryant, is now watching over his recovery from a fractured thumb, puncture wounds and a bacterial infection.
“I’m just in prayer right now,” said Kenneth. “I was there when they explained the bacteria getting into the bone.”.
“We prayed the dogs would live a couple more years, even though they were getting up there in age,” he said. “They do everything together.”
Bryant says this is a lesson in dog ownership and what can happen when owners do not keep a watchful eye: “If they can’t take care of him until his last days, they don’t need him.”
Bryant says he will check himself back into the hospital on Monday night to be treated for the bacterial infection. It’s unclear how long he will need to stay.
Kenneth says the dog did not have a leash, collar or tags. He wants the owner to come forward and apologize.
“We are not trying to sue or anything,” he said. “We just want their apology and to see that they show some sympathy.”
Newport News Animal Control could not be immediately reached for comment due to the Labor Day holiday.